Did you #joinin this Christmas?

Judging by the national mood, I would urge David Cameron to go to the polls now; the mood is good out there

Share
Related Topics

Being at a distance from something familiar works a treat. And so, several time zones away from home, I could observe the national character during our seasonal marathon of booze, food, dismal telly and jokes, via the online dipstick of Twitter. From this non-scientific evidence, I would urge David Cameron to go to the polls now; the mood is good out there. Irreverent, wholly irreligious and unhealthily besotted by chocolate it may be, but good.

As I was packing stockings for my children on Christmas Eve, (largely supplemented with plastic toy magnets from a useful roadside vendor), Britain was packing itself under the covers, full of delighted anticipation fuelled by the vista of a Bank Holiday and the fact that the nation’s children had all gone to sleep on time. Amazing what the promise of a present in a sock can do.

By the time I woke up, Blighty had descended into a state of giggly inebriation. Essentially, it seems we are a seaside postcard of a nation which loves to tell jokes and play games. If you weren’t experiencing the horrors of Gatwick airport with a single working toilet, or freezing cold in a house stranded without power, which in both cases must have been ghastly, then everyone was having a laugh, playing Twister, shouting out cracker jokes and watching Toy Story 3. Or perhaps, not, according to one poor soul who tweeted “Dad’s idea of fun on Christmas Day; watching a BBC News doc on archery.”

Highlights on the thread #joinin, which was inspired by the comic Sarah Millican for people who might be alone, included “My dad has just farted on my foot”, “Whoever cries first at Toy Story 3 has to down their glass of booze” and my favourite; “Little Nephew just shot himself in the eye trying to work out why his new Nerf gun wasn’t working.” Anyone who was alone on Christmas Day (and had access to the internet) was encouraged to #joinin. It was a warmhearted phenomenon, one of those things which seemed to flower organically without any overt direction. It didn’t lack point, however. Plenty of people testified that it helped them feel loved and part of a community. Is this not what Christmas is all about?

Checking Twitter at various intervals (yes, I had my Christmas Day stuff to do as well), was akin to being in a cloud hovering above a nation going the whole hog alongside vats of alcohol and groaning tables of food. And loving it, and loving each other. The belief system of Christmas, expressed in less than 140 characters. People breaking the rules, not giving a damn, eating far too much, being saucy, crying over films. Grannies, getting plastered. Women in underwear, putting glasses of champagne between their breasts. Someone posted a picture of their Christmas present. It was a hardback biography, Young Prince Philip, hollowed out to contain a bottle of Bell’s whisky. Can you imagine anyone in France doing that?

If booze is big, Chocolate is massive. Bigger than church, bigger than The Queen’s Message, bigger even than Hugh Grant (whose performance in Love Actually took a right pasting, in fact the whole of Love Actually took a complete and utter pasting, and the bewildering Doctor Who Christmas Special didn’t do much better, either). We all love our chocolate. GEM Medical student, forced to revise “puberty and fertility” for her upcoming exams while “32 family members” were carousing downstairs, took 48 Jaffa Cakes to her room for comfort. Snuggling down with a tin of Roses in front of the TV was the order of the day, while Quality Street enjoys something of a national obsession. Strawberry, green triangle, the orange one, the lot. Apart from Bonnie Tyler, who is holding out for a Hero (geddit?).

The waggish ITV News correspondent Damon Green escaped the accusations of doing something horrendous in bed after “forensic examination proves ‘fecal matter’ to be Quality Street.” Green, quite a serious chap on screen, appears to have had a rather exciting Christmas all round. After the Quality Street incident, he attempted to use a Vajazzle kit on his person, commenting quite rightly that there is nothing in the box which states that men can’t have a go. “And yet, I am subject to criticism”, he mourned, giving rise to a wave of jokes about GlitterBall, feminist oppression and so on.

By the time I got up on Boxing Day, it was all over bar the turkey sandwiches. Kathy Lette, about to watch the start of the Sydney/Hobart yacht race, said her liver was about to fly the flag of surrender. Sue Barnes, 54, had got engaged. Lots of people had hangovers. The Boxing Day “triangle” of kitchen, bathroom and bedroom was discussed. There was a LOT of farting going on, due to “excessive sproutage”. And everyone was eating Quality Street for breakfast. People of the United Kingdom, I love you. Happy New Year.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Assistant

£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...

Recruitment Genius: DBA Developer - SQL Server

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...

Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A pack of seagulls squabble over discarded food left on the beach at St Ives on July 28, 2015  

Number of urban seagulls in Britain nearly quadruples: Hide food and avoid chicks to stay in gulls’ good books

Tom Bawden
 

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen